Posts Tagged ‘Don McCullin’

McCullin, Wintour and Brookes given honours

December 31, 2016
Don McCullin photographer Anna Wintour, Vogue editor Times cartoonist Peter Brookes. Pic: Richard Pohle
Don McCullin, former war photographer Anna Wintour, chief of the US edition of Vogue Times cartoonist Peter Brookes – did Oz covers

Photojournalist Don McCullin, Anna Wintour, chief of the US edition of Vogue, and Times cartoonist Peter Brookes are the prominent names in this new year’s honours list.

The 81-year-old McCullin, who made his name on Town and The Sunday Times  Magazine among others, has been knighted.

Peter 'Hack' Brookes cover for Oz magazine from 1971

Peter ‘Hack’ Brookes cover from 1971

Peter Brookes, who in the past drew for underground magazine Oz, has been made a CBE. In a news item in The Times today headlined ‘I won’t start pulling my punches’, the 73-year-old cartoonist defends accepting the award:

I am glad to live in a country that recognises cartoonists in this particular way. There will be those who wonder whether Theresa  May and others can justifiably say ‘we have got him now’. My feeling is very much that they haven’t. I am not going to stop hitting hard.

He points to the contrast between his honour and the treatment of Atena Farghadani, who was jailed in Iran for 12 years after posting a cartoon in protest at laws restricting birth control and divorce. ‘She has been jailed for doing the sort of drawing I do three or four times a week,’ Brookes said.

Anna Wintour, who was appointed editor of ­American Vogue in 1987 after two years at the helm of the British edition, has been made a dame, while veteran Liverpudlian comic Ken Dodd is knighted at the age of 89. His world of Diddymen and the Jam Butty Mines in Knotty Ash has been a legend in my lifetime. Difficult to imagine ‘Nuclear Wintour’ repeating the sentiments of Daddy on hearing his news: ‘full of plumptiousness’ and ‘highly tickled’.

Focus on McCullin

November 6, 2007
Anti-fascist demonstration, London, 1962

Early Don McCullin photograph of anti-fascist protests in Trafalgar Square published in Topic magazine. The design was by Tom Wolsey

Don McCullin was the subject of an interview headlined ‘I should have gone barmy‘ by Julian Flanagan in the FT at the weekend (3 November 2007). The photograph of him by Andy Short (I wonder how he felt about the job?) reminds me of Clint Eastwood as a globe-trotting photojournalist with thoughts of settling down in The Bridges of Madison County. A quote from the piece:

I said once ‘I’m going to be the best war photographer’. What a stupid thing to say. It’s like saying I’m going to be the best assassin.

McCullin’s latest book In England (Cape) ranges from his much earlier material (where he admits to having looked for the worst of the country) to his latest landscapes. The image above is one of his early ones, from a spread in Topic (1962). The magazine’s art editor, Tom Wolsey, used McCullin’s pictures as big as he could, squeezing out text, headline (yet, that’s it at the top of the picture – Focus on Hate) and captions. The publisher was Michael Heseltine’s Cornmarket, which also owned Town, and became Haymarket. Notice the prominence of the credit for McCullin at the bottom left, though.

And what a spread it is: a Benny Green column discussing the ‘heirs to the Pathagorean tradition’ to be found going to the dogs at White City; a football column on the rising cost of players (Billy Wright at Arsenal wanted to fork out £65,000 to bring Joe Baker back from Torino); and the McCullin photo opening an article on the battle against fascism. Not that it was much of article in terms of words – just a couple of pars to give context to the pictures, probably based on McCullin’s eyewitness account (below). Note the central use of white space on the right page to create animation for the elements of the page. The essence of photojournalism. Dramatic stuff.